Albuquerque police response times rise for urgent calls

police car

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque has seen its fair share of priority one calls, from the fatal crash that killed 14-year-old Shaylee Boling and her mom Shaunna Arredondo-Boling, to shootings, stabbings, and burglaries and robberies in progress.

“There has been an increase in calls, there has been a significant increase in calls,” said Gilbert Montano, the Chief of Staff for the City of Albuquerque.

But, it’s those urgent calls, the life threatening ones that are taking police twelve minutes and 17 seconds to respond to on average.

“I’ve called for emergencies like, hey, there’s gunshots, people screaming… and just waiting and waiting,” said one Albuquerque man.

In the mayor’s new budget proposal for the Albuquerque Police Department, it shows year after year the response times have increased.

“We’re not just rushing to close out a call, so that has contributed to some of the increase,” said Montano.

A couple years ago, KRQE News 13 spoke with the Police Union President, about the time jumping more than two minutes over the course of a five year period.

“The APOA has been warning city leaders for six years, that this was going to happen,” said Shaun Willoughby.

He attributed the problem to the ongoing shortage of officers. But is that the problem?

“I don’t think the numbers show that,” said Montano.

He said the time consists of the moment the 911 call is received to the time the officer shows up at your door.

“Over the last year is that we’ve stayed very steady when it comes to the officer actually getting dispatched to arriving at the scene,” said Montano.

Montano also said a lot of the delays were in getting the officers dispatched after 911 calls came in. The hope, for the city, is that more dispatchers and a reorganized 911 call center will help get officers on the move faster.

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